Some very good news. Horsham District already has the highest rate in West Sussex for recycling, i.e. dry mixed recycling and garden waste, and now we can add the recycling of plastic pots, tubs and food trays to the list of items.
This means that you are now able to put the following plastics in your blue-top bin provided they are clean, dry and kept loose:
Ice cream and margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, punnet containers, ready-meal trays and tetra packs. You can already recycle all plastic bottles (excluding the tops).
There will still be a few things we cannot accept, e.g. hard plastics like toys and plant pots and also plastic bags, but it should really help us achieve more recycling.
Last week I was talking to a resident who has recently moved to the district from a London borough about our recycling and bin collection service.
She was saying how pleased she was with the waste and recycling services in our district compared with the complicated multi-bin service she had at her previous address.
Half of councils across England no longer provide weekly bin collections.
So, rather than move to fortnightly, or even three weekly collections as many other councils have done, which means more people taking rubbish to the tip, we are doing everything we can to provide the most useful and practical waste collection services to our residents, while looking for common sense efficiency savings wherever possible.
We are continuing weekly bin collections but we are also committed to improving recycling levels and encouraging our residents to help them recycle more.
We also have by far the lowest green waste collection charge in the whole of West Sussex.
Recycling is very much a joint commitment of working closely with the other West Sussex districts and boroughs and with the full support of the county council, but Horsham district’s success with recycling wouldn’t be possible without the commitment from those who live here trying to do their bit for the environment.
This commitment extends beyond household rubbish and recycling.
Whenever we carry out a community survey and ask people what they think about their neighbourhoods and communities, residents identify litter as a major concern and many tell us that they want to be part of a solution to combat the problem.
As a council, we spend around £1 million a year picking up in the region of 14 tonnes of litter and fly tips every month from our streets and highways.
It is commendable that more than 400 people have volunteered within the last few months to support our newly launched Adopt-a-Street initiative. This is a great example of the community coming together to make a difference to their neighbourhood.
It is excellent that we have so many people who are prepared to give up their own time to support us and litter pick on a regular basis and is a huge show of support for our local communities.